CONTROVERSIAL plans to axe luncheon clubs have been ditched after an investigation by councillors and the prospective relaunch of the service.

Last September it was revealed that the future of nine luncheon clubs for the over-50s was under threat as part of budget proposals to save £52,000. But a task group, led by Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Greaves, was established to examine ways of reorganising current provisions.

Coun Joe Cooney, leader of the Conservative-Lib Dem administration, has now confirmed that the luncheon clubs will continue in a new guise.

He said: “We have reached an agreement with Housing Pendle and three town or parish councils to take over the running of the luncheon clubs.”

The decision, endorsed by a full council meeting last week, will still see the authority save £26,630.

Originally it was thought that an agreement regarding future provision would only recoup £15,000 for the council.

Historically, the borough council has provided luncheon clubs at nine locations across the borough – but numbers attending have dropped off in recent years.

But critics of the closedown programme claimed the clubs served a valuable social function for the elderly, as well as providing hot meals.

Coun Cooney said Coun Greaves, along with councillors Pauline McCormick, John David and James Starkie, should be thanked for their efforts regarding the task group.

The council currently runs luncheon clubs at Kelbrook Village Hall, Brierfield Town Hall, Barrowford’s Holmefield House, Barnoldswick Civic Hall, Trawden Community Centre, two at Nelson’s Railway Street Community Centre, Nelson Hodge House Community Centre and Primet Community Centre, Colne.